At this weekend’s conference Tedd Tripp is preaching on Jacob, Rachel and Leah and the matter of heart longings. I think this may have been the first time I have heard someone given an extensive reflection on Leah’s situation. For those of you unfamiliar with this biblical story, Jacob works 7 years for his future father in law in order to marry the younger, more beautiful sister Rachel. On his wedding night he consummated his marriage and discovers afterwards his heavily veiled wife is not Rachel but Leah. He must work another 7 years for Rachel.
Imagine the experience of being Leah. You know he wants someone else. He many even have called you by your sister’s name during that first night. The text says that God saw the Leah was unloved. Her first three sons are named by her in such a way to illustrate her hopes that she will be loved for giving Jacob sons. Her fourth son gives Glory. She appears to no longer pine for Jacob’s love.
Imagine that experience. We could focus on Jacob’s willingness to work 14 years for his first love. We can focus on the deception in the story. But imagine the loneliness of Leah. Imagine a husband who is wiling to have sex with you (and you bear him sons) but who clearly loves someone else more.
Tedd closed by reminding us that Judah, Leah’s son, is the one of Jacob’s son who is in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Notice that God favors Leah in spite of her pain.
4 responses to “Ever heard a sermon on Leah?”
Good reminder of another passage in scripture, about the fact that people look at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). By the way, earlier this year I read a great sermon on Leah. It is by Tim Keller, and the title of the sermon is “The Girl Nobody Wanted.” You can find a PDF of the sermon here:
Click to access The%20Girl%20Nobody%20Wanted.pdf
Thanks for sharing; all the best!
In the book “Heralds of the King” Tim Keller provides an excellent sermon on Gen. 29:15-35 titled “The girl nobody wanted”. Perhaps one of the best sermon’s I’ve read.
It seems to me that Tim Keller ignores a key part of the passage: Genesis 30:20, where Leah says ‘God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.’
Tim says that Genesis 29:35, where Leah says ‘This time I will praise the Lord’, is an indicator that Leah’s idol of approval/honor/love from her husband has been replaced with Leah being satisfied in God’s approval/honor/love. However, Genesis 30:20, which occurs at a later point in time, seems to indicate differently.
I really like Tim’s point but he does not seem to be true to the passage in making it.
I’d like to hear other peoples’ thoughts on this.
The bible does not say that Rachel was the more beautiful sister. It says that she was lovely in form and Leah had weak eyes. This refers more to age and ability to produce for a man than it does the vanity of outward beauty. Rachel had already developed a connection with Jacob when she met him out in the fields with her flock. His heart was already captivated by her before he ever saw Leah.